Intro to Joomla!

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Facilitated by Ryan Ozimek, PICnet

Ryan and PICnet have deployed dozens of Joomla! web sites, and in this session he'll offer an overview of this excellent open source content management system.

Session Notes

Ryan led the session assisted by Ron.

The official demo site is http://demo.joomla.org.

First Ryan covered the nomenclature of Joomla building blocks. The core philosophy of Joomla is:

  • User experience
  • Simple as possible to maintain
  • Easy for content publishers

Page structure:

Each page is composed of a template, one central component, and optional modules and plugins. A module is similar to a block in Drupal, a chunk of content. Plugins map various events and conditions to visual effects.

The Administrator interface is a separate application. Several wysiwyg editors available. Ryan likes JCE, Ron prefers CK editor. The CK editor has the ability to scrub MS Word pastes of spurious characters. Joomla provides a PDF generator, but the output is sometimes less than ideal, and printing web pages is a workaround.

Some differences from Drupal:

In Drupal, everything is a node, and they interconnect with each other. In Joomla, each object is a more autonomous black box. Joomla can be modeled as a OS with pieces that you can drop in easily via the Administrator.

There is a menu manager with ACL rules to build menu trees. Each menu item is mapped to a component, where a component is something like an article, faq, iframe page, a submenu, 3rd party packages, etc.

Joomla 1.6 is in alpha testing. Ron gave us a preview of working code. The biggest change is a new ACL system. By default it will work like the current system, but it provides fine grained control of roles, and custom roles. The Administrator will have new interfaces and themes.